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DERBY FEVER USA Roland Klick, D 1978/79, 87 min

DERBY FEVER USA is Roland Klick's chronicle of the legendary horse race in the USA, the Kentucky Derby in Louisville.
It depicts Louisville in what can best be described as Mardi-Gras-like chaos, a panoply of parades and ceremonies that attract a crowd that could not be more diverse.

Always objective, it captures the spirit of place and time and goes about, rich in detail and precise observation - and never hides the director's enthusiasm for the thrill, the excitement, the downright craziness that besets Louisville during 9 days every year.

DERBY FEVER USA mixes interviews, visits to the betting offices, the jockeys, the horse breeders, the election of the Derby Queen, but also focuses on the visitors, the local people or local politicians, in a dynamic filmic collage that also incorporates TV advertisements and news footage.

It is a mixture of an impressive environmental study and portrayal of a time and era that never condescends to social criticism. It clearly shows Robert Klick's affinity towards the US and is as much about hopes and people's need for ritual, the American Dream as what is left of it.

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